Apple's New iOS Could Change the Game in Energy

Over the past decade, there has been a major shift in the way we produce and use energy around the world. Hundreds of thousands of homes have gone from consumers to producers of energy with solar, smart appliances and devices are turning off energy when we're not around, and advances in demand response have allowed for the market to put a price on energy efficiency. We're no longer just plugging into the grid and paying a bill -- consumers are now part of the energy process. 

That's why Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) announcement yesterday that it is launching a home kit on iOS devices is so important for the future of utilities, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Mobile devices that millions of people have on them at all times will now become key to how we consume energy. 

You may soon be able to charge your EV with energy stored from solar power all with a single app. Source: SunPower. 

Energy apps are going to be everywhere
Apps that tell consumers about their energy usage are still in their infancy despite how central energy is to our lives. Until recently, there simply haven't been any options to interact with energy on mobile devices, but that's changing. 

SolarCity workers put up a residential solar system. Source: SolarCity.

SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY  ) and SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR  ) both have apps that display power generated by their solar systems and with both testing energy storage that will more than likely be added to apps as well. An interesting output for both apps could be the ability to control both charging of things like electric cars as well as the ability to contribute to demand response systems.

Last year, I talked to former SunPower executive and current Solar Grid Storage CEO Tom Leyden about how his company was going to monetize batteries in renewable energy storage. He said that energy storage would allow commercial consumers to reduce demand charges (charges for peak demand) as well as by contributing to energy markets like PJM. So, interacting with energy storage is more than a toy, it can make renewables and energy storage economically viable. 

SolarCity's energy storage unit, powered by Tesla batteries. These may soon be central to controlling your energy. Source: SolarCity.

EnerNoc (NASDAQ: ENOC  ) has led the charge into demand response and already has a large network of commercial customers who are paid just to conserve energy. A home kit from Apple could make it possible to make similar changes to energy consumption available to every consumer and on a much grander scale than EnerNoc's network. It could even open up new business opportunities for demand response.

The companies I'm most interested to watch here are SolarCity and Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) , which are tied at the hip because Elon Musk is a board member and CEO, respectively. They're already working together on energy storage and it could be seamless for them to allow control of when and how to charge an EV and contributing to the grid when it's economical. 

Opening a world of possibilities
Apple may not be an energy company but it has a platform that will allow emerging energy companies to innovate and bring new business models to energy. This will be a boon to renewable energy, energy storage, and efficiency and it has to have utilities scared about the future. 

Do you know this energy tax "loophole"?
You already know record U.S. energy production is changing the lives of millions of Americans. But what you probably haven't heard is that the IRS is encouraging investors to support our growing energy renaissance, offering you a tax loophole to invest in some of America's greatest energy companies. Take advantage of this profitable opportunity by grabbing your brand-new special report, "The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Investment Now!," and you'll learn about the simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule. Don't miss out on advice that could help you cut taxes for decades to come. Click here to learn more.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2980963, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/31/2015 5:01:24 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Travis Hoium

Travis Hoium has been writing for since July 2010 and covers the solar industry, renewable energy, and gaming stocks among other things.

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
NASD 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:00 PM
AAPL $113.29 Up +0.37 +0.33%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
ENOC $9.35 Up +1.02 +12.24%
EnerNOC CAPS Rating: ***
SCTY $48.00 Up +1.77 +3.83%
SolarCity CAPS Rating: ****
SPWR $24.32 Up +0.45 +1.89%
SunPower Corporati… CAPS Rating: ****
TSLA $248.48 Up +5.49 +2.26%
Tesla Motors CAPS Rating: **